OPINION: Time for politicians to honour promises
OPINION: Wow - what an election result!
At the time of submitting this column the ALP appears to be firming towards winning government, either in their own right or with the help of an independent or even Katter's Australia Party.
Who would have thought that Maryborough would be so pivotal to the overall result, to decide which party will ultimately be in control of the State's destiny for the next three years?
We may also ultimately look back on the next three years and see the election of two KAP members to the benefit of regional Queensland in particular.
Whoever ends up in charge, here in the Fraser Coast we can only hope that promises are kept, to improve the local business operating environment; both parties, pre-election, indicated that they would support the following which are of particular interest to a region like ours:
1) Skills, Education and Training: ready for work programs to assist young people into the workforce
2) Road Infrastructure: whilst the previous state Government was specific with $26m in funding under the Royalties for the Regions program to upgrade three key intersections in Hervey Bay, as well as the raising of the Torbanlea causeway, the ALP was more generic in their statements; and I'm sure the Council will be quick to pursue these specific pre-commitments with the new State Government
3) Tourism: ultimately this sector should be a winner with both sides promising to provide the industry with extra millions over the next few years. This should benefit regional Queensland in particular, which has been exposed to high unemployment figures, and any commitment to investing in boosting tourism should address unemployment in regional communities like ours.
4) Regional Development: the previous government was committed to providing an additional $500M to the Royalties to the Region program, to build roads, bridges, water infrastructure and flood mitigation works in the regions. The ALP, through the Working Queensland Plan, committed to replace the Royalties for Regions program from 2016/17 to 2018/19 with four focused infrastructure initiatives.
However as we are aware, different levels of dollars were committed during the election, and Labor's modest promises also highlighted a lack of an alternative financial strategy.
Let's hope they develop a plan without higher taxes or fewer services, as ultimately we need a government with an economic strategy to improve this State as we cannot afford to stagnate over the next three years.
The ALP promised little, and let's hope we don't get exactly that.
Tim Powers is the president of the Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce